Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has nailed the Obama Administration to the wall with his article in the London Review of Books alleging that President Obama lied to the American people when he said the U.S. has proof that Syria was behind the poison gas attack that nearly led us to war earlier this year.
Hersh says that the White House selectively edited intelligence information to make it appear that officials knew about the sarin gas attack in real time.
According to Hersh: “A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam.”
In September, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. had proof that the poison gas attack was carried out on Bashar Assad’s orders, and Obama gave his now-infamous “red line” speech as he pushed for military intervention.
Hersh also alleges that the Obama Administration deliberately buried information on the rebel group al-Nusra, which was believed to be capable of manufacturing sarin. Al-Nusra was apparently never considered a suspect in the attack.
According to Hersh, the Administration was learning about the situation after the attack at about the same speed as the public was, and that the early intelligence briefings included no mention of Syria in connection to the attack.
Not surprisingly, media laziness was also a factor, according to Hersh, as journalists did not question a U.N. report that said the rocket used in the sarin attack matched those in the Syrian arsenal. However, further analysis by MIT professor Theodore Postol and other munitions experts revealed that the rocket appeared to have been improvised and was likely made locally, rather than taken from Syria’s supply of weapons.
Obama has for years had his eyes on Syria as a military target, and to that end his Administration has smuggled weapons and fighters, many drawn from terrorist groups, to keep the “civil war” going in that country. That Obama would have fabricated a story to blame Syria for an attack it had no involvement in is not really a shock to those who’ve paid attention to this Administration’s actions.
What’s significant here is that the allegations come from a Pulitzer Prize winner, one of the demigods of journalism. While it’s been easy for the lamestream media to laugh off unknowns and anybody thought to be conservative, or to kill careers and reputations with charges of racism, it will be exceedingly difficult for many journalists to stomach any such treatment of one of their profession’s idols.
The writer brought it all home with his comparison of Obama’s actions to those of the previous Administration, which the media had no compunction about slandering at every opportunity. “The cherry-picking was similar to the process used to justify the Iraq war,” Hersh said.
There’s an implicit challenge in Hersh’s allegations: It’s long past time for the media to treat this president like a politician and not a saint.